Why is Google CEO Larry Page trying to cure death?
Why not start smaller? Perhaps with cancer?
Because, according to Page, cancer isn’t that big of a deal, when you take a big picture view of it.
What’s certain is that looking at medical problems through the lens of data and statistics, rather than simply attempting to bring drugs to market, can produce startlingly counterintuitive opinions. “Are people really focused on the right things?” Page muses. “One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you’d add about three years to people’s average life expectancy. We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that’ll totally change the world. But when you really take a step back and look at it, yeah, there are many, many tragic cases of cancer, and it’s very, very sad, but in the aggregate, it’s not as big an advance as you might think.” Page, in other words, is a man for whom solving—not curing—cancer may not be a big enough task.